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Liberals threaten to hold back arts funding under new anti-harassment policy

April 25, 2018 - Arts groups that want funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage or the Canada Council will have to commit to keeping their workplaces free of harassment, abuse and discrimination as the government clamps down on sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry. Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly announced on Wednesday that Ottawa will no longer provide money to organizations, including those in the performing arts, that have failed to adopt a “no tolerance” policy toward sexual violence and harassment. The Heritage department and the Canada Council for the Arts, the country’s public arts funder, have also agreed to spend a combined $552,000 to sponsor workshops to provide training that will help arts organizations create and maintain respectful workplaces.

Kate Cornell
, the executive director for the Canadian Dance Assembly, a recipient of Canada Council funding, and a spokeswoman for the Canadian Arts Coalition, said it is “fabulous” that arts workplaces will have to be harassment free to obtain grants and contributions from the council or the government. The Canadian Arts Coalition has been helping to build safer and more respectful work spaces, Ms. Cornell said. “So it is important for the funders to be on the same page as the community. And they have really heard us.”

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Source: Globe and Mail

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